Photo 1 Sen. Emil Jones III April NewsletterB“We have to send the message that such disrespectful and dangerous behavior, especially during periods of mourning, has no place in our communities.” – Sen. Emil Jones III

SPRINGFIELD – A topic that has captured the attention of Illinois media and the General Assembly is that of reckless driving during gang funerals.

To respond to the disquieting issue, State Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) spoke out this week on legislation he is chief co-sponsoring providing for action to be taken against reckless driving during the funerals of gang members.

“Throughout my legislative career, I have consistently advocated for gang and violence prevention, a problem rampant across Chicago but particularly prevalent in the South Side communities I represent,” Jones said. “That’s why this measure has special significance for me, because this is going to allow us to accomplish curbing these gang demonstrations and their disruption of peace during funeral observances presenting unfair risks to our communities.”

Last September, the Chicago Tribune offered a telling exposé of this issue, detailing the irresponsible weaving in and out of traffic lanes, blaring music and gang signs/gestures thrown out of car windows accompanying memorials at Mount Hope Cemetery (which often serves as the site of funerals for deceased gang members).

Residents of the South Side communities of Mount Greenwood and Beverly have been particularly vocal in expressing their concern for public safety and frustration with these frequent rowdy memorials for late gang members. 

Senate Bill 2154 allows municipalities to adopt procedures and regulations for the impoundment of vehicles driven recklessly while part of a funeral procession and/or in such a way that impedes a funeral procession.

“Being able to not just provide a ticket but tow the vehicles of mourners driving irresponsibly while promoting gang activity or paraphernalia during funerals is of the utmost importance for our public’s safety,” Jones said. “We have to send the message that such disrespectful and dangerous behavior, especially during periods of mourning, has no place in our communities.”

SB 2154 passed the Senate on Wednesday and awaits further consideration by the Illinois House. 

Category: News Releases
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